With a compass to direct him in his job as a forward observer and a personal camera to document his experiences—and keep him connected to his creative side—Vietnam veteran Steven Burchik was lucky enough to make it home and years later decided to write about the most challenging year of his life.
Like any experience, his year spent with the 1st Infantry Division stationed in the rice paddies near
Saigon included good times as well as bad. He candidly recalls how, although he believed communism to be a serious threat in the world, he soon learned that a guerilla war is a difficult one to fight, and survival rather than victory quickly became his focus. But he also remembers the exhilaration of helicopter rides over serpentine rivers and the time he introduced village kids to a gumball machine.
A unique memoir of the war, Compass and a Camera pulls not only from Burchik’s memories, but also from the daily letters he wrote to his fiancée (she kept every single one) and includes numerous photographs from his collection of over four thousand. The images alone make this book a must-have for any history buff or fellow veteran.
You are invited to pick up a copy of this book and share the experience.
Steven Burchik grew up in New York City and earned his bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College during the turbulent sixties. He worked his way through school, including a stint at the New York Daily News, and remained active on campus—even starting a second student newspaper to provide an outlet for students to voice different views.
After graduating, he entered the US Army at the peak
of the Vietnam War. He trained at various bases in the US then spent a year in the rice paddies northeast of Saigon in the role of a forward observer as a sergeant with the 1st Infantry Division. He later earned his MBA from Michigan State University and had a successful career as a marketing executive and entrepreneur in the food industry.
Married with grown children, Burchik enjoys pursuing photography and sailing on San Francisco Bay. Compass and a Camera, his memoir of his Vietnam War experience, is his first book.
FIRST BOOK: Compass and a Camera
A Year in Vietnam
"...Many Vietnam War books, particularly memoirs, can be bitterly agenda-driven, determined to take an edgy political position while offering emotional catharsis of the Born on the Fourth of July (1976) kind. AMVET-turned-author Burchik's plainly told 'Nam flashback is a breath of fresh air (as opposed to "the smell of napalm in the morning")...Burchik, an avid photographer, made thousands of images on black-and-white and color film during his 12-month tour of duty...The book's easy-flowing, natural structure came out of his penning detailed, chronological captions for what his impassive lens captured, complemented by the regular letters he wrote home to his future wife...Some readers may wish for the Sturm und Drang that other war memoirs have made of death and battle, while others might appreciate the unfiltered, reasoned POV of a humble foot soldier in an unpopular conflict.
An evenhanded, tasteful, just-the-facts time capsule of one American soldier's Vietnam experience." -Kirkus Reviews
Now available as an Audiobook!
Do you prefer to listen to books while driving or at home? Great news! Compass and a Camera is now available in an audio format.
Order it now from Audible, Amazon or iTunes.